IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

On Limiting the Domain of Inequality: The Legacy of James Tobin

Listed author(s):
  • Robert Dimand


    (Department of Economics, Brock University)

The Keynesian macroeconomist James Tobin presented an ambitious program for social policy, sketched in the titles of "It Can be Done! Conquering Poverty in the US by 1976" (1967), "On Limiting the Domain of Inequality" (1970), "On Improving the Economic Status of the Negro" (1965), and "Raising the Incomes of the Poor" (1968). Tobin advocated means-tested cash transfers (negative income tax), to reduce poverty without interfering with market determination of relative prices (a position shared with Milton Friedman), paired with "non-market egalitarian distributions of commodities essential to life and citizenship" (education, food stamps, basic housing). The latter position contrasted with Friedman's Chicago school approach. Tobin's message continues to be relevant for reduction of poverty and inequality. Tobin's approach is contrasted with the neo-conservative analysis of the causes of poverty (exemplified by Herrnstein and Murray, but going back to Senior and Chadwick's Poor Law Report of 1834) that has been reflected in "the end of welfare as we know it".

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 29 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 559-564

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:29:y:2003:i:4:p:559-564
Contact details of provider: Postal:
c/o Dr. Alexandre Olbrecht, The Anisfield School of Business 205, Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Ramapo, New Jersey 07430, USA

Phone: (201) 684-7346
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:29:y:2003:i:4:p:559-564. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.